Saturday, October 10, 2009

The DCSF should consult its own Legal Department

...since yesterday's press release on their full reaction to the Badman report only confirms one's suspicion that the DCSF has not given due consideration to the full consequences of their suggestions. (Full response available in through link to Graham Badman's letter, near the bottom here.)

By far the worst feature of this ill-conceived diktat is the announcement of yet another review into the meaning of a "suitable" and "efficient" home education.

From the DCSF press release:

"The response also outlines that more work will be done to clarify what is ‘suitable and effective’ home education to support new guidance to local authorities on supporting and monitoring home educators. This will emphasise how local authorities can work with home educating parents to make sure that the needs of all children, including those with special educational needs, can be met in the home environment where appropriate. The guidance will take account of findings from the Lamb Inquiry, to be published later this year."

which not only potentially signals the end of the suitable education of thousands of autonomously educated children in this country, but also means that the state will transparently be responsible for failing hundreds of thousands of children in this country, since all education would then be state-determined and mandated, and since suitable educational provision is surely only that which results in suitable educational attainment, the state will be stuffed, STUFFED to high heaven, when parents whose children leave school functionally illiterate and innumerate rightly feel that they have been STUFFED.

But home educators are not impressed for plenty of other reasons too. We do not want to sacrifice educational freedom for the tidbits on offer, which are highly likely not to materialise locally whatever the government says, or which, eg: in the case of better exam access, could conceivably be supplied without any strings attached whatsoever.

It is all so desperately sad. The DCSF appear to have disengaged both ears and brains.

UPDATE: Don't suppose Ed and his mates predicted this sort of headline either, lol.


Dani said...

If I've understood the document correctly, the funding they are describing for access to GCSE courses at college for under 16s is already available, if the LAs choose to use it.

Makes the hand-wringing of our LA when we have asked for access to an exam centre (at a fraction of that cost) look particularly pathetic and unimaginative.

I agree with you about the consultation on the definition of suitable and effective. How can they redefine these words only for HE? They are the terms used in Section 7, so must apply to everyone.

I suppose the planned legislation to enforce the monitoring system will affect section 7, but surely not to the extent of declaring that school and HE parents have different responsibilities?

Merry said...

I'm beginning to think we should virtually leave them to it - they seem to be doing a nice job of creating convoluted and complicated rules, problems and procedures for themselves which will be unworkable and unenforceable and take them well past when they will actually be in power anyway; then the DCSF will be disbanded by the Conservatives in favour of something new it will take them years to set up and screw up.

They are so obsessed with small print, they might as well get on with it - they aren't interested in the people it affects and we know they aren't going to listen. Then they won't be able to train the people to enforce it anyway and somewhere down the line it will all be thrown out as too complicated and difficult.

And yes i know there are lots of reasons for NOT doing that, but i'm in such despair at the time, effort and money being spent on this that i've just reached the point of no return.

Best hope is stringing it all out to a change of govt and hoping they have better things to do when they get in than bother us. I'm starting to wonder if they are determined to crush us just because we refuse to be crushed :(

Tech said...

Merry said:

"I'm starting to wonder if they are determined to crush us just because we refuse to be crushed :("

I think this is part of it, and I think it is not just the current government that feels this, but the civil servants for whom we are a damned nuisance. They will not go with a change of government though so I think we should be watching re runs of Yes Minister to see what tactical ideas we can glean!

Merry said...

Yes Minister and Sir Humphrey are beginning to be ever present lurkers in my brain.